Much of Madrid's nightlife has a big gay input and gay men especially will feel at home in most of the listings in our clubs/ discotecas
section. However, around Plaza Chueca, graffiti-plastered walls proclaim the existence of a zona gay
, and the surrounding streets, especially c/Pelayo, harbour at least a dozen exclusively gay bars and clubs, as well as a café that's traditionally gay - the Café Figueroa
at c/Augusto Figueroa 17. Wandering about, be aware that Chueca is also something of a drug centre, so taxis are best late at night. The lesbian scene, which is rather less developed, has a current focus in Lavapiés.
The main gay organization in Madrid is Coordinadora Gay de Madrid, c/Fuencarral 37 (Mon-Fri 5-9pm, Aug from 7pm; tel 915 224 517; Métro: Chueca), which can give information on health, leisure and gay rights. The Chueca website www.chueca.com is full of information about everything going on in the area.
Gay bars and discotecas
, c/Gravina 10 Métro: Chueca. Very comfortable café, stylish decor and the perfect place for a quiet drink. Popular with a mixed crowd.
Cruising , c/Pérez Galdós 5 Métro: Chueca. This discobar is strictly for leather boys, with a dark room and bar upstairs and a small, intimate disco below. It has a slightly tense atmosphere and you have to order your drinks at the door before you come in.
Liquid , c/Barquillo 8 Métro: Chueca. Smart and stylish new arrival on the gay scene. The two bars are lined with video screens playing a selection of modish music.
La Lupe , c/Torrecilla del Leal 12 Métro: Antón Martín. Mixed gay, lesbian and alternative bar that has received a recent make-over. Good music, cheap drinks and occasional cabaret.
Medea , c/Cabeza 33 Métro: Tirso de Molina. Women-only disco which has a huge dance floor and wide-ranging selection of danceable music. Gets going from about 1am.
New Leather Bar , c/Pelayo 42 Métro: Chueca. The name implies a leather scene but this bar has a mixed gay crowd.
Ricks , c/de las Infantas 26 Métro: Banco de España. Mixed straight/gay discobar which gets wild at weekends when every available space is used for dancing. Open and light, with a friendly atmosphere - plus table football at the back. Pricey drinks.
La Sastrería , c/Hortaleza 74 Métro: Chueca. This popular two-floored café-bar is a great place for an afternoon coffee, tea or fruit juice as well as an evening drink.
Shangay Tea Dance , at the Flamingo Club , c/Mesonero Romanos 13 Métro: Callao. A compulsory Sunday night stop, featuring live shows and 70s disco hits. ¬6 entry including first drink. Open Sun 9pm-2am.
Stars Dance Café , c/Marqués de Valdeiglesias 5 Métro: Gran Vía. Quiet and low-key during the day and gradually livens up as the night goes on. Popular meeting point for the gay community but clientele is mixed.